Ok, so I was going to discuss a fantastic new show on NBC entitled Awake featuring Jason Isaacs, possibly best known to the current generation as Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter film series, as a detective who solves crimes in two alternating realities that only he is aware of. In one his wife survived a car accident and in the other his son survived the accident and as such he has to struggle with trying to find a way to live with both realities by switching between them as he sleeps so that he doesn’t actually have to lose either one. It really is brilliant in many ways; in premise, acting and direction it comes across as a lot more than just your bog standard crime detective show of which there seems to be a growing plague.
But that’s not what I’m actually going to discuss the fact that American Idol is a sham. Perhaps that’s a little unfair but after Thursday night’s result show there really can be no other conclusion than the show completely fixed the results to create controversy and boost ratings. And it’s not like this is just speculation or conjecture on my part. TMZ announced the shock result before the show even aired. The article states:
“Sources connected with the show tell TMZ … producers are scrambling to persuade the judges to use their “save” on the contestant.
We’re told producers actually thought 2 of the 3 contestants in the bottom tonight were strong candidates to win the entire competition.”
So clearly the producers knew before hand and were trying to affect the judges’ decision. Well so what? You could argue that this wouldn’t affect ratings really because the shock outcome would be ruined by them saving the person. But on the one hand it clearly shows that producers were trying to set something up so that viewers would feel like a potential top-tier singer was almost sent home and setting up an impression that really, from now on, anyone really can go because the save safety net isn’t there any more. Though TMZ is just a news site and sources can’t always be trusted so even if the viewers do read the news on sites they’ll probably tune into to see if it really is true.
It really is true too, partially based on what happened on the night such as the odd comment of Steven Tyler staying that they would use the save that night before the bottom two had even been revealed. That’s odd because I find it unlikely that Elise would be saved. Her rendition of You and I wasn’t as good as Haley Reinhart’s from the previous season and she’s been in the bottom three a few times before, so if it really was her that had been voted off I think the judges would have decided she just wasn’t connecting and would release her from the competition. Of course, Steven Tyler can be a bit eccentric anyway so he’s not terribly reliable either. Ryan Seacrest, on the other hand, is a fairly reliable source and even he was hyping up the shocking result prior to the result when he said:
“there is a result tonight on @AmericanIdol that some would say is very shocking!”
So it certainly seems like the result was well-known among those backstage at Idol, even if the judges didn’t know who exactly was going or that the contestants were completely in the dark, and Steven’s comments add weight to the concern that producers certainly had pushed them to use the save that night. But the entire scenario seems even more suspicious when you consider that Randy Jackson said, on Wednesday’s performance show, that anything could happen and repeated that sentiment on the results show. It definitely sounds like they were building to some huge shocking result. The judges were awfully quick to storm the stage too. You can put it down to not wanting Jessica to go home but it all seemed a bit too well-played out to be true.
A lot of people have also pointed out the comparisons to Jennifer Hudson, one of the strongest contestants of her year and the only contestant to have gone on and won both a Grammy and an Oscar, and how Jessica Sanchez conveniently almost goes out on the show where she’s performing. It’s not like the producers didn’t have Hudson contracted to appear probably weeks or months in advance, so they certainly had plenty of time to prepare. It’s also worth mentioning that Nigel Lythgoe is fully aware of this. He phoned into TMZ live and brought up the Hudson comparison without even a prompt from the interviewers. You can hear the comparison is made around the 6 minute mark. So yeah, way to sell the idea that it’s not a fix by pointing out a conveniently conspicuous comparison. It’s also worth nothing that even the other contestants seem suspicious whenever the result is announced.
Obviously you can’t tell from the picture what Hollie is saying though if you watch closely it almost looks like she’s either asking Skylar Lane “Is this rigged?’ or telling her ‘This is rigged.” It’s not immediately clear but Skylar shifted uncomfortably in reply, so there certainly seemed to an air of suspicion and discomfort with what was happening on stage and this was before Randy Jackson even made the announcement that Jessica Sanchez was the best in the world. He may have gone a bit overboard there.
I don’t want to be unfair though so I do feel like it is necessary to address whether Jessica Sanchez could have possibly fallen into the bottom three without the show having been fixed. And I have done my research here and looked through a mass of internet comments and blogs in order to form an unbiased opinion. I’m not saying it worked just that I did the footwork. But honestly it doesn’t seem like there’s been a huge backlash against Jessica. Some people think it was fixed and some people think she should have done because she comes across as distant and cold on stage. I’d actually argue that Skylar is a lot more distant than Jessica because Jessica comes across as being subtly and mature in her emotions. It’s not that she’s not feeling the emotions but it’s that she’s restraining the emotion so that it doesn’t affect the song. And that’s the mark of a good singer; knowing how much emotion to seep through into the song without it disturbing the actual sound. Skylar, conversely, tends to sing a lot of similar sounding country songs that rely on attitude rather than emotions, although to give credit where credit is due her performance of “Didn’t Know How Much I Loved You”, originally by Kellie Pickler, was more emotional than anything she’s sang before.
So if she’s not really emotionally disconnected, what could have caused her to fall so far, because let’s face it, before this week, she was up there along with Colton Dixion and Philip Philips for never having been in the bottom three and looked set to continue that trend. I suppose you could argue that since Colton and Philip are getting the female votes and Skylar is raking in the country voters then that would leave Jessica to share the votes with Joshua, Elise and Hollie. But Hollie had a terrible night and Elise, while not as horrible as she has been in previous weeks, certainly didn’t match the performances of Joshua or Jessica. So a more likely bottom three would have been Hollie, Joshua and Elise.
Meanwhile, some people are placing the blame on a backlash from the judges’ comments towards Hollie. The arena definitely fell silent as Steven and Randy told her that her performance wasn’t up to scratch. It wasn’t so they were right to do so and I believe America would have understood that. If they’d been against the judges’ comments they’d have booed rather than sit in an indifferent silence. And if it were due to a backlash why Jessica? Jessica was said to be on the top-tier by Randy but it was Joshua who got the ‘He’s gotta have it’ remark. Admittedly, Joshua was in the bottom three as well but if all the votes were going to Hollie, Colton, Philip and Skylar and people were actively avoiding Jessica and Joshua, who would really suffer? That’s right. Elise Testone, because everyone one would forget. But Elise didn’t go. Jessica did and it doesn’t make sense.
Honestly though, if anyone was going to disagree with the judges’ that much then they’d go watch X Factor USA or The Voice or something else because the judges are the musical experts on this show and they pick the top 24. If you don’t like the judges or think they’re complete hacks, you wouldn’t watch the show and you definitely wouldn’t vote. The only people watching this show are people who are going to take the judges’ comments seriously. Except for J-Lo. No one takes her seriously. But all in all, the only reasons I can really see that might have led to Jessica’s downfall are her obscure song choice or people just thinking she was safe and forgetting about her. But neither of those two options seems likely to have thrown Jessica all the way into the bottom.
So it’s a fix. Either completely or in part because there’s sufficient evidence to say that the producers were manipulating a number of things to set up a huge shock. The only real mystery is whether they fluffed the AT&T votes from Telescope but I honestly don’t think it would matter. They never intended on letting anyone go so the actual calculation of the votes were a moot point. But it still affects the viewers because they came to watch a bunch of talented people sing and instead we get manipulated and forced to endure this charade. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jessica is eliminated next week out of spite, quite frankly. Then she goes on to win Grammys and Oscars and be more popular than the actual winner like every Idol season prior.